Joanna Cutaia-Beales
Real Estate Broker

Hamilton Ontario Real Estate Agent

What To Do With a ‘Problem Room’

Have you ever wondered why some homes that seem perfect end up lingering on the market for too long? Or maybe you’ve visited an open house and feel the home is amazing, but there’s one thing stopping you from putting in an offer.

Sometimes, that home has what I call a ‘problem room.’

Problem rooms, in my mind, are any space that needs to be reworked in a way that will change a potential buyer’s perspective. Chances are, you’ve come across a problem room when looking at potential homes, and it can be difficult to see past the issues you find with the space. If your own home has a ‘problem room,’ there are a few tips you can use to improve that space (and help buyers see it in a whole new light!).


Try an easy upgrade

Some homes are perfect, until you hit the kitchen, or the dining room. The property may have good bones, but when some of the more important spaces totally miss the mark, potential buyers can easily become fixated on the problem room.

  • Try a new coat of neutral paint

  • Upgrade outdated cabinets and hardware

  • Consider a minor kitchen renovation (if your budget allows)


Brighten a gloomy basement

Basements are already somewhat gloomy, because they are often the lowest level and last room in a house that you visit when you look at a listed property. If your basement is gloomy, it can make people feel disheartened, closed in, and put off.

  • Use light paint colours (like a shade of white) to open up small basement spaces and make them feel larger

  • Consider decluttering and organizing any basement storage space(s)

  • Stage the basement using modern decor and incorporate plants (like succulents) for a homier feel


Maximize random spaces

Most homes have that one room that no one seems to know what to do with, so it becomes ground zero for junk, old clothes, random containers…you get the picture! But this room can become your oyster, and can be maximized to bring more value to your home in the buyer’s perspective!

  • Repaint a small or random room in a neutral colour

  • If it has curtains, consider replacing them with blinds for more light

  • Turn it into a walk-in closet or small study/office


Organize the laundry room

The laundry room is an underrated space in any home, because people don’t often think to look at this space first, or second, or even third! However, most home buyers are turned off by dingy laundry rooms or spaces with poor lighting, stale scents, and disarray.

  • Add a new coat of (light or neutral) paint to your laundry room to make it feel more airy and bright

  • Use a wall unit or set of shelves to organize laundry accessories (and consider adding in a clothing rack, too!)

  • Clean existing washing machines and dryers if they are covered in dust or stains

  • Use non-toxic odour eliminators and section off a space for litter boxes or pet food if your laundry room is also a pet storage space!

Joanna Cutaia-Beales